The annual quota of 85,000 new H-1B cap registrations was met in the initial registration period for employment in FY 2023, according to USCIS. The agency has completed the regular and advanced-degree selection lotteries, and has notified employers of selection results. Employers will need to log into their H-1B cap registration accounts to learn which beneficiaries were selected. H-1B cap selection notices thus far indicate an April 1 to June 30, 2022 petition filing period. If USCIS does not receive enough H-1B cap petitions during this filing period to meet the 85,000 H-1B annual limit, the agency may conduct one or more subsequent lottery selections to reach the limit, as it has done in recent years.
A closer look
USCIS has announced that the annual limit for Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 H-1B cap employment has been met and the lottery selection process has been completed. Sponsoring employers and their attorneys have been notified of the selection results and are now able to view the status of their submissions in their registration accounts.
During the initial registration period, employers submitted more than enough registrations to meet the quota of 65,000 standard H-1B cap numbers and the cap exemption of 20,000 for holders of U.S. advanced degrees. The precise number of cap registrations submitted has not yet been disclosed.
H-1B cap petition filing begins April 1
USCIS will begin to accept H-1B cap petitions on behalf of lottery selectees on April 1, 2022. The petition filing period will end no earlier than 90 days thereafter. All FY 2023 H-1B cap petitions must be submitted during this period for registrations selected between March 19 and 29. Selection notices received thus far reflect an April 1 to June 30, 2022 filing period.
Though in most cases a cap petition can be filed at any point during the filing period, some cases may need to be filed at specific times. If the beneficiary is an F-1 student working on optional practical training (OPT) who will need cap-gap protection, the petition must be filed before his or her OPT employment authorization document expires. If the beneficiary is awaiting completion or award of a required degree, the petition must not be filed until the degree has been issued or the beneficiary has obtained documentation from the appropriate school official that degree requirements have been satisfied.
Possibility of subsequent lottery selections
If a registration was not selected in this lottery, it will be held in the system and remain in consideration for selection in the event that USCIS does not receive by June 30 a sufficient number of H-1B cap petitions to meet the 85,000 H-1B annual quota. Whether the agency will conduct more than one lottery selection will depend on how many registrations are selected by USCIS in the initial round, as well as how many H-1B petitions are submitted to USCIS by employers with selected registrations.
In each of the last two H-1B cap seasons – the only seasons in which the H-1B registration system has been in place – USCIS has conducted more than one H-1B registration selection lottery. In FY 2021, the agency ran an additional lottery in the summer of 2020, and accepted H-1B cap filings for newly selected registrations from mid-August to mid-November 2020. In FY 2022, the agency held two subsequent lotteries; the second selection was conducted in July 2021, with H-1B cap filings accepted from early August to early November 2021, while the third lottery ran in mid-November 2021, with filings accepted from late November 2021 to late February 2022.